Fourteen science profs play moment, mentor and memento in new Faculty of Science podcast

Jeff Goodes sitting on bench with his arm around the statue of Senator William McMaster

While serving as a journalist in residence for the Faculty of Science, Jeff Goodes helped build the Moment Mentor Memento podcast. The 14 part series introduces faculty members and highlights their research.

Jeff Goodes realized early on that he needed to both show and tell as the Faculty of Science’s second journalist in residence. 

Podcasting was the hot topic of conversation whenever Goodes met with students and faculty. Everyone either had a podcast or wanted to start one. With more than 25 years of experience in radio broadcasting and podcasting, it was a conversation Goodes was happy to have. 

The good news? It’s never been easier to launch a podcast, says Goodes. The bad news? It’s never been easier to launch a podcast — this explains the glut of shows that never find an audience and “podfade.” 

To help students and faculty avoid that fate, Goodes offered practical and proven advice while making the rounds. Always start with your audience — focus on what they want to hear rather than what you need to say. The onus is on you to connect and engage with your audience in a clear and compelling way.  

The guests who are the most reluctant and least comfortable talking about themselves often have the most interesting and inspiring stories to tell — your job is tease out those stories.   

Always do pre-interviews with your guests so everyone’s comfortable and knows what to expect when it comes time to hit record. And invest the time upfront to think through and build the best format for your podcast — while the conversations should lead to unexpected places, audiences crave structure and familiarity episode to episode.  

A square graphic with a yellow background and a drawing of the face of the Senator William McMaster statue. There is a grey and maroon set of headphones and white sound waves superimposed over the drawing of his face. The graphic reads, ‘Moment Mentor Memento,’ and features the logo of the Faculty of Science.
Moment Mentor Momento is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Simplecast.

Heading into the winter break, Goodes began building a podcast for the Faculty of Science — he’d show what he’d been telling faculty and staff throughout the fall term. The podcast would showcase new faculty members and highlight their research — for many, it would be their first time being interviewed for a podcast.  

“I’ve lived in Hamilton for a long time and was surprised and excited at the breadth and depth of the research that’s happening at McMaster,” says Goodes. He knew audiences would react the same way.  

Goodes built a podcast in four parts. Each episode starts with a faculty member talking with Goodes about the impact and importance of their research in a way that’s relevant to non-scientists. And then they get personal by sharing a defining moment from their career, a mentor who had an outsized impact and a personal memento from their office or lab that holds special meaning. 

The Moment Mentor Memento podcast features Dean Maureen MacDonald and 13 newer faculty who are still in the early stages of establishing their research groups. The podcast aims to introduce these faculty to their colleagues within the Faculty of Science and across the university, as well as prospective postdocs and grad students, journalists and future collaborators. 

The episode with MacDonald debuted June 25th, with six episodes to follow every Tuesday through the summer. The remaining seven episodes will be released in the Fall.  

The conversations were recorded in the Lyons New Media Centre podcast centre – “a great facility with fantastic people.” Goodes says the students working at the front desk and Alessandro Erami — the self-described “Concierge de Lyons” — went above and beyond in helping with the podcast. 

Goodes finished his tenure as journalist in residence knowing he’d discovered and shared only a fraction of stories waiting to be told in the Faculty of Science — the podcast could easily have been 140 rather than 14 episodes. He also left with a sure-fire conversation starter when talking with family, friends, neighbours and strangers. “I tell everyone about the amazing research that’s happening at McMaster and going out into the world.” 

Along with creating, hosting and producing the Moment Mentor Memento podcast, Goodes is working on two other McMaster shows. He’s collaborating with Faculty of Social Sciences Associate Dean Jim Dunn and Cynthia Belaskie, managing director of the Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative on the Fixing Up Housing Policy podcast.  

Goodes is also executive producer of This Could Change Everything, a podcast created through the McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows Teaching & Leadership Program hosted by Joe Kim, associate professor in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and produced by Katie George, program manager and research coordinator. 

The Faculty of Science launched a journalist in residence program in the Fall of 2022 to help students and faculty gain the confidence and skills to communicate and champion science.  

Veteran television journalist and health reporter Avis Favaro served as the inaugural journalist in residence. 

Moment Mentor Momento is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Simplecast

Related Stories